Whether or not online students will be required to purchase additional software depends on the online course as well as university policies. Sometimes necessary software is supplied to students and is covered by tuition, but other times students will be required to purchase their own course software.
At the very least, students should have:
Generally, most courses will post their content to a website or online platform of some kind, which students can access without the use of additional software.
Before enrolling in a course, students should find out if they will be required to purchase additional software.